On Sept. 26, state economist Loren Scott will present his annual perspective of trends and events that could affect the area's economy.
Last year, Scott had a dire prediction for the Houma-Thibodaux area. He said it could lose 1,800 more jobs and a local shipyard could shut down in 2018.
But a report from the Louisiana Workforce Commission last month said the area was up 300 jobs in July compared to the same time last year. It was the fourth consecutive month of year-over-year gains for the metro area.
Scott predicted about 700 new jobs in the area in 2019.
Houma-Thibodaux posted a jobless rate of 5.8 percent in July, down from 6.1 percent in June but up from 5.7 percent in July 2017.
The area has lost roughly 16,000 jobs -- nearly one of every five -- since mid-2014 as low crude prices sparked layoffs and work slowdowns throughout the oil industry. The industry has rebounded along with oil prices, but job growth has been limited mostly to inland shale fields, where drilling is less costly than the deep waters of the Gulf of Mexico.
Local jobs involved in oil and gas exploration and production have remained steady since April. The total, 5,300, is down 100 from a year ago. And it’s down 2,500, or 32 percent, since August 2014.
Oil and gas production and exploration jobs have not seen a yearly gain since December 2014.
About 4,600 people held oilfield-service jobs in July, no change since April but down 100 compared to a year ago. The total is down 1,800, or 28 percent, since August 2014.
The losses have been worse for shipbuilding and other maritime jobs, but the decline has also slowed.
The local offshore maritime industry employed 3,300 people in July, the same since April but down 200 from a year ago. That sector has cut 2,900 jobs, down 48 percent, since the the oil industry downturn.
The South Louisiana Economic Council, Louisiana Economic Development and Pedestal Bank are hosting Scott's presentation.
The cost of the luncheon at The Cypress Columns, 157 Tourist Drive, Gray, is $65, and the registration deadline is Wednesday. Register at www.eventbrite.com.